2021 Third Place High School Poetry

"I Know Why The Reaper Carries a Scythe" by Emma Dong, Caddo Magnet High
(Teacher: Deborah Morehead)

Poet's Statement

My poem reflects Jerzy Bielecki's story. While marching to the concentration camps, they passed through a town full of people who hid inside their houses. Nobody spoke up until somebody threw roses from a window. The flowers were immediately trampled. That moment captures how silence can be a form of oppression. Although it is difficult to relate to the atrocities that people endured during the Holocaust, most have experienced a moment where they had a chance to speak up in the face of injustice. I hope my poem encourages people to realize the importance of speaking and consequences of indifference.